act 298 of the 2007 regular session of the louisiana legislature by rep townsend n.
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Act 298 of the 2007 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature By Rep Townsend. Louisiana Cultural Districts. providing tax exemptions and credits in locally designated districts. Cultural Districts Background. Cultural Economy Initiative 144,000 jobs pre Katrina and Rita in 2005

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louisiana cultural districts

Louisiana Cultural Districts

providing tax exemptions and credits in locally designated districts

cultural districts background
Cultural Districts Background
  • Cultural Economy Initiative
  • 144,000 jobs pre Katrina and Rita in 2005
  • Search for economic tools to:

Bring back Louisiana’s creative talent, to promote the growth and development of cultural production within the state, and to support entrepreneurial development within the cultural economy

mt auburn associates
MT Auburn Associates
  • Tax incentive research – Feb. 2007
  • Three major categories:
    • artist-based incentives
    • industry-based incentives
    • place-based incentives
cultural districts

Primary Goal- (modeled after DDD legislation)

Cultural Districts

revitalize communities by creating locally driven hubs of cultural activity

cultural district
Cultural District
  • Geographically contiguous
  • Vital role in cultural life of community
  • Focus on cultural compound, art institution, art/entertainment businesses
  • Where artisan production, promotion, preservation and education occurs contributing to the public good
hb 359 overview
HB 359 overview:
  • Allows local communities to designate cultural districts
  • Provides for state and local tax exemption on sales of original art
  • Expands historic preservation tax credits on commercial and owner-occupied properties to historic structures located in cultural districts
  • Increases the cap on state residential historic tax credits
  • Requires local governments who designate such districts to report on impact to their community
currently for income producing property
Currently - for Income Producing property
  • 25% state income tax credit for costs and expenses of rehabilitation of historic structures that are in a DDD and used for commercial, industrial, or rental residential purposes
currently for homeowners
Currently - For Homeowners
  • May be eligible for up to 25% of rehab cost as credit against individual state income tax for up to 5 years
new law
New Law
  • Expands eligibility of existing tax credits to the rehabilitation of commercial and residential structures located in “Cultural Districts”
  • Raises the cap on the residential program from $1 to $10 million per program year
rule making process
Rule Making Process
  • The Administrative Procedure Act defines the procedure for promulgation of administrative rules.
  • Minimum time between the date of the first publication of the agency’s “Notice of Intent” (NOI) to promulgate rules and the effective date of the rules is four months

November ‘07 draft and revise rules

December ‘07 publish Notice of Intent

January ‘08 public hearing

February ‘08 legislative oversight

March ‘08 publish final rules

cultural district rules
Purpose and Authority




Determination & Appeals

Reporting requirements

Sales Tax Exemption


Termination by Local

Termination by State

Cultural District Rules
  • Local Governing Authority- the local governing authority of the parish or the municipality in which the cultural district is located, or both if a district is located partially in a municipality.
  • A local governing authority may submit to the department an application to designate and certify a specified geographic area as a cultural district
  • In accordance with the timetable and in the format provided by department policy
  • Application deficiency must be addressed within 30 days of notification
Revitalize a neighborhood or area  

Stimulate the economy 

Engage residents

Draw tourists 

Provide a sense of community

Serve as a gathering place

Encourage creativity

Strengthen community partnerships 

Promote the arts and support artists

Develop an image

Enhance property values

Capitalize on local cultural, economic and social assets

reporting requirements
Reporting requirements
  • By January of each year, the local governing authority shall prepare and submit to the department an annual report on the impact of the certified cultural district with regard to the purposes of the creation of a cultural district
sales tax exemption
Sales Tax Exemption
  • Sales and use taxes imposed by the state of Louisiana or any of its political subdivisions shall not apply to the sale of original, one-of-a-kind works of art from an established location within the boundaries of a cultural district.
established location
Established location
  • An “established location” shall not include transient vendors including those who sell art from booths or other temporary structures as street vendors or participants at fairs, festivals, or other temporary activities; except for ongoing, incorporated events, held at least 6 times a year in the same location
certifying tax exempt sales
Certifying tax exempt sales

Vendors shall certify and document each tax-exempt sale of original art: 

  • A description of the work of art including its medium and dimensions, the name of the artist, its date of creation, and the name, contact information, and qualifications of the person vouching for this information
  • A statement by the vendor certifying that the work of art meets the definition of a tax-exempt work of art.
definition of original art craft
Definition of Original Art/Craft
  • Art is the creation of a single, unique item, conceived and produced by the artist or under his direction, not intended for multiple or mass production
  • A craft must be a single, unique item made by hand or with the use of necessary and appropriate tools, conceived and produced by the artist or under his direction
eligible tax exempt art
Eligible tax-exempt art
  • Examples include drawings created using pencil, charcoal, graphite, pen and ink, or a combination of media, but not a copy, print or reproduction; paintings created using oil, acrylic, or other paint on paper, canvas, or other surface, but not a copy of another painting, a print, or a reproduction.
  • Eligible media include drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, clay, metals, fiber, glass, leather, wood, mixed media
eligible tax exempt crafts
Eligible tax-exempt crafts
  • Examples of eligible media include clay, glass, fiber, metal, wood, leather, mixed media, and digital installation art
  • Ineligible media & products include manufactured items; crafts made from commercial molds, stencils, patterns or kits; imports; food products; plants; dried flower arranging; simulated stained glass; china painting; items created through mechanized processes
  • All jewelry must be handcrafted by the artist and shall not include stringing of manufactured beads

For more information:

Call – 225-342-8161

Email –